It’s pretty easy to be excited about this Lion’s off season. I am too, but I’m probably not as over the top as many fans are. But I like the plan, and I will explain what I see, which is not the same thing many of you seem to see.
I haven’t written in a long time. Most know that I am not a Goff fan, and many will try to ridicule me again, but first let me remember some of the other topics that I was ridiculed about, that maybe turned out different. After 2 games in the Patricia- Quinn period, I wrote that they were both low lifes. The term I used. I had already recognized that Quinn was an awful human and a grossly poor GM, but Patricia was loved back then and I took everyone on, because I knew that was the truth. Anyone want to still debate that? I said the Lions were wrong and Calvin was right, the Lions are the ones who have come around. Calvin stuck his ground, rightfully so. There are many other opinions I had about players that were right, and some that were wrong. But I think I have a pretty good eye. I think I’m also as observant a practice watcher as about anyone, told people the Kalif Raymond would make the team after 1 practice. Many others. Well, I think I understand the Lions short term and long term plans, they are fairly obvious it you take a look at the big picture. This is what I think right now.
The Lions think they can win this year. But they knew that the defense had to be much improved. They think the front 7 will get better just by being older, stronger guys for the most part, but the secondary was too bad to improve with rookies. So they signed 3 good players, all really nice fits and starter level guys. Not just starters, but good players, all ball hawks too. Bringing back AA at LB says they are happy there. They definitely see Rodrigo as a starter, and 2 is all they play. At edge we have Hutch, Houston, Romeo, Harris, Julian, Cominsky, and Paschal. 7 guys, all gonna make the team. At DT we have Alim and Buggs, Jones might make the team. Plus Levi. The Lions don’t need to draft a single defensive player right now to go into the season, they are pretty set 2 deep everywhere already. They have at least 5 Corners, they could develop a guy, but they have starters.
When Holmes and Campbell took over, they had an obvious plan if you look back. First, we were drafting big people. Big and tough. Our first 3 picks were big guys. The rest of the draft was the other guys. I’m sure the original plan included picking a QB with the high pick they probably figured they would get last year, but there wasn’t one. So they had to modify, go with Goff or another vet, and figure that QB was next year, but we might have to move up to get our guy. Most thought the Rams pick would be in the 20’s, and I’m sure they needed to win some and the other pick would be around 15. So last year we took more big people, and 1 really fast tough guy WR. I’m not sure that most fans realize that the real reason they wanted Williams wasn’t just his speed, but that he was the best gunner in the country and a really hard nosed player, a Campbell guy just like St Brown with Olympic speed. The Lions knew that drafting big tough guys early on in the rebuild, allowed them to get up to NFL strength levels by their second and third year. So they modified the plan, push QB down the road.
Now we look at what the Lions have on offense, which I think will dominate our draft. I didn’t before free agency, but the plan is obvious to any open eyed viewer. So far we replaced Brown with Glasgow, and Williams with Montgomery. I don’t like the Montgomery signing at all by the way, I think he is past his prime already. The Bears demoted him last year to second string behind a guy named Herbert, who the hell is he?, because he lacked explosiveness. We will see, I don’t want this article to be about disagreeing with 1 signing. The Lions are gonna draft a RB. We have the weakest TE group in the league, we need depth at tackle badly, we are still short an outside receiver, and we need a QB.
The plan all along has been to pick our QB this year, once the draft was too weak last year. For you Goff defenders, who will attack this article most likely, I will show you 3 things, or more, why they think thus. 2 specific plays last year showed anyone who wants to win a SB, not just be pretty good, but win a SB, why we need to upgrade. Thanksgiving day, 3rd and short, under a minute to go, fake a short run, Chark is wide open for aTD, and the biggest win in years, and Goff throws a wounded duck 10-15 yards off target. A choke, period, no other way to describe it. Next game, I think, Williams goes deep and breaks wide open, 5 yards past everyone, Goff throw it so short the DB knocks it away. They didn’t trade up that high to have a QB who can’t throw accurately past 40 yards. The coaches also have a lot longer memory than most fans. You remember last season when Goff was sucking, as usual, and we were 1-5 and firing assistant coach who was their friend? You remember how early on Campbell would blame our QB play even though the defense was horrible. Campbell remembers. The Lions have had to limit their offense a lot to cover for Goff’s deficiencies. Examples.
Remember how we traded our best TE, but it didn’t really matter because we never sent him out on anything but a flat pass? The Lions MVP last year was Ben Johnson. A remarkable OC, our offense closely resembles San Francisco’s offense. The running game, with all the pullers and blocking by receivers, is basically the same offense. Did you see how SF’s offense improved with a mobile QB, even a rookie named Purdy? Ours would too. You watch Kittle play in SF? He goes downfield all the time, one of their signature plays. We don’t do that. Not because Hock or our other guys can’t, but because Goff can’t make that throw, at least not well. It would get picked off, he floats it. So we don’t call it. We don’t throw fly patterns, Williams will be beast on those. The first year of Campbell, remember how we demoted Lynn from OC? Kept him as running game coordinator, but not passing. But he called played for Justin Herbert the year before, and Herbert looked great. Lynn was calling plays that could work in some offenses, but not one with Goff. Calling plays instead of molding the offense to Goff’s realistic capabilities, which Johnson has perfected. But in doing so, our offense is limited.
‘We have a short window I bet with our genius OC, 2 years at most. Why not give him an elite talent to see if we can get to the very top? It’s going to happen, every move this off-season says we are picking a QB with our first pick.
A couple more thoughts. My opinion on the QBs, Young is really good, a star, if he is durable. He is everything else but big. Stroud is Joe Burrow jr, a great prospect. Richardson, our most likely pick, has more talent than both of them combined, but is green, very green. Levis from Kentucky to me seems like a Campbell guy, I could see the Lions loving him, just for those who don’t like him, he is very possible. All 4 are massive upgrades.
Just a couple years ago, in a league with Brady, Rodgers, Allen, and Mahomes all in their prime, Lamar Jackson was the UNANIMOUS MVP of the league. He is great, and a trade to Detroit would make us instant SB favorites in the NFC. I think they go rookie because of contract, but Lamar is a superstar and we need one.
One more point. With Rodgers and Brady gone, the NFC is pretty barren on star QBs. Hurst, the obvious best, but by 2024 the next best are going to be him, Fields, whoever the Panthers pick, and hopefully the guy the Lions get in the next month. If you want to win a SB, you must have a star QB. We are getting ours soon, look forward to it.